The roots of our current leadership issues run deep
Yesterday saw Ed Miliband, the leader of the UK Labour Party, launch another attack on Britain’s richest and most powerful 1%, who he said were, “badly out of touch with the reality facing the other 99%”. At the same time, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, seems also to be exorcised with the same conundrum, suggesting during this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions that having more women on the boardroom would lead to more restraint around high pay.
Perhaps it is thanks to the protests of ‘Occupy’ that we are certainly seeing so much political interest in themes which touch upon the way we lead and the way in which organisations do business. Whatever the catalyst, I welcome it wholeheartedly for it gives us the opportunity to explore the real issues behind the headlines made by our politicians. However, do I think that we should ‘attack’ the most powerful 1% and that it is such an attack which will really make the difference? No, I don’t. Do I really think that more women executives would curb high pay? Perhaps, although in truth, I don’t really know, nor it seems does anyone else for evidence for the hypothesis seems scant on the ground.
So, in reflecting on all this, I am reminded of Einstein’s famous quote, “You cannot solve a problem from the same level of thinking, or consciousness, that created it”. It seems to me that both these lines of thinking do not break free from the same type of thinking logic that brought us to where we are now.
It is conventional thinking, deeply rooted in ego and fear which has created this paradigm and to release ourselves from it, it seems to me that we could use some post-conventional thinking; thinking which is perhaps is not so dualistic in its approach. So how do we even go about that? I don’t try and pretend it is an easy task but my sense is that first, we need to dig much deeper to understand the root cause of the behaviours which we are trying to change. We need to reflect with openness, courage and curiosity upon our fears; fears which compel each and every one of us to make the choices we make. Perhaps in doing so, we could begin to see the limitations of our habitual patterns. Perhaps we could truly take our first cautious steps into another world and begin to broaden our own horizons, our own thinking, and thus our own behaviours by seeing the world in which we operate from multiple different perspectives – rather than defending our usual point of view.
This would represent a true evolution in thinking and an expansion of awareness toward Conscious Leadership. It would begin to get us above the type of thinking which created the current status quo; it would offer the space for greater creativity and diversity in creating an alternative path. The ground is being tilled as people begin to ask questions about the wisdom of our currently accepted leadership behaviours. Now is the time to take personal responsibility for self enquiry so that we become part of the solution.
To finish: a personal note of thanks to all those who are taking the time and courage to say ‘no more’ to this way of leading; also, my eternal awe and gratitude to those people who, on a daily basis, are fearlessly, diligently and with great perseverance climbing the mountain in order to show others an alternative way of being.